Day 16 (April 8th): Sassafras Gap Shelter to Cable Gap Shelter

Miles hiked today: 15.2
Miles hiked total: 159.2
Miles to go: 2026.1

Today started off incredibly cold. Only a couple of minutes into our hike we had to stop and put multiple layers on including our thicker gloves. Everything was shrouded in fog and this caused everything to get wet very quickly.

We hiked uphill for a bit and this warmed us up a bit, but not enough and we went downhill as quickly as we could so that we could get off the top of Cheoah Bald and out of the wind. A couple of miles later we finally stopped for a break at Locust Cove Gap. We were out of the cloud by that point and the sun kept promising to come out, but ended up stuck behind clouds for most of the day.

We pushed on until we reached Stecoah Gap, where we took our lunch break and fueled up for “Jacob’s Ladder”, a steep 600-foot climb over a half-mile. Chrissy and I put our music on and did our best to power up the mountain. According to Chrissy, it only took her 5 Beyoncé songs to get to the top, so it didn’t take too long, but it sure was steep. After we climbed Jacob’s Ladder, the hardest part of the day was behind us, which was good because we planned to hike a big mile day today.

We got to Brown Fork Gap Shelter around 3:00, filtered water, ate a snack, and decided to push on another 6.1 miles to the next shelter so that we’d have less miles to hike tomorrow. The terrain didn’t look too difficult, so we decided to try for a 15-mile day, which is more than we’ve hiked before. We pushed on and finally made it to the shelter at 6:30. I’ll admit, by the end of the day, I was tired! I’m happy Chrissy and I pushed on and am impressed that we were able to hike the 15 miles and still get into camp at a reasonable hour, but boy did my feet kill!

The whole crew’s at the shelter tonight: Tigger, True Story, Stylez, Mighty Blue, Oliver and Twist, Grumpy, Blacksmith, Wing It, Pipe, Woodstock. ‘Tis a fun time with good people!

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